MA Homestead Law

MA Homestead Law

by Attorney Sherrill Erickson, Chelmsford MA

Recently the MA Homestead Law changed for the better, so if you live in MA (or are planning on buying in MA), you want to know what’s going on!


A homestead is protection for owner-occupied one to four family homes, condominiums, manufactured homes and cooperative apartments.  A homestead exempts a certain amount of equity in your home from attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy and sale for unsecured debts of the owner of the home.  There are some exceptions to this, however.  A homestead does NOT protect against the following in Massachusetts:

v    Federal, State and local taxes

v    Liens recorded prior to the filing/creation of the homestead

v    Mortgages

v    Order of the Probate Court for support

v    Levy of sale for ground rents (where homeowner doesn’t own the land)

v    Execution from a court to enforce a judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity

Explanation of recent updates:

As of March 16, 2011, the MA homestead law updates allow MA residents to have an automatic homestead protection of $125,000 on their primary residence .  MA residents can also declare a homestead in MA which gives owners a protection of $500,000!

At all real estate closings now in MA the closing attorney must discuss with the buyers the MA Homestead Law and the protection available to the buyers for their homes.  If you already take advantage of the MA Homestead Law on your home, it may be worth increasing your protection.  You can find the paperwork necessary to file at the Registry of Deeds.

If you have any questions regarding the MA Homestead Law and/or your real estate holdings, feel free to contact Attorney Sherrill Erickson at 978-453-1906.  I’ve worked with Sherrill on several occasions and I have found her very knowledgeable and accessible.









Keller Williams Realty Agents donate time at North Andover Senior Center

Keller Williams Realty Agents donate time at North Andover Senior Center

May 12,2011 was the third RED DAY celebrated by Keller Williams Realty across the US and Canada.  Red Day was created by Mo Anderson, VIce Chairman of Keller Williams, as a way for the agents to give back to the communities that they serve.

RED  in Red Day stands for :  RENEW, ENERGIZE, and DONATE.

This year for Red Day, our KW Andover and Dracut offices chose to work at the North Andover Senior Center which had substantial budget cut-backs this year.  (2010 we worked at Emmaus House and in 2009 we worked at the Lawrence YWCA)

This year’s projects entailed gardening, painting, cleaning and preparation for a Thank You Dinner the Senior Center was hosting for it’s own volunteers.  We had 24 agents and family members participate in Red Day and the seniors were filled with smiles throughout the day (although a bit overwhelmed at the “sea of red” we created while moving from one task to another).

I find it’s great to take a day off of work and work with my co-workers.  In our business, we savor the time when we can have several hours together uninterrupted, to be able to focus on doing good for our community while sharing stories of our successes and challenges out in the housing market.  If you are a real estate professional and are interested in learning more about Keller Williams, call Debbie at 603-318-6953.

If you know of an organization that you think could use our help next year, we’re always on the look-out and get really serious about our Red Day selection in January and February as we do our planning.

Thank you, North Andover Senior Center for letting us come be with you for our Red Day!

Home Staging Tips

Home Staging Tips with Karen

Karen DiMattia, from Staging on a Shoestring, has been giving home staging tips for 10 years to her husband who is a  contractor that has remodeled and sold many homes/condos.  Then, three years ago Karen formalized her passion as the business “Staging on a Shoestring”.  Certainly in the last 5 years there have been shows on HGTV and other channels regarding home staging, but just in case you don’t know what it is, let me share with you using Karen’s words:  ”decorating is for living and staging is for selling”

Karen holds an official certificate naming her a Professional Real Estate Stager and Home Redesigner and graduated from the Academy of Design and Decorating.  In the last 3 years Karen has worked with over 350 home sellers and their Realtors working with her home staging tips to prepare their homes for selling, including Beth from Haverhill who shared home selling tips 1-3 with me on previous blog posts.  Karen has worked on projects ranging from $99,000 to $3,000,000 including those that the sellers are still living in as well as brand new construction.

There are a couple of steps that Karen takes when working on home staging tips with sellers,first of which is the consultation.  $99 will get you a whole house consultation , inside and out (and if you mention this BLOG ARTICLE, Karen will give you a discount) During the consultation, you will discuss everything from decluttering to painting (including specific suggestions/selections).  Karen will then go on to also discuss furniture placement, arrangement, editing, and accessory suggestions for everyroom.  (If necessary, accessories/furnishings can be loaned from Karen at an economical fee.)  Beyond the consultation, if you choose to continue to work with Karen, she will come back with the chosen accessories and put the finishing touches in the house to be prepared for picture-taking for the listing.  (Included in the borrowing fee 90 days to keep everything and beyond that is a nominal monthly fee.)

What are the top 3 reasons Karen recommends using her home staging tips to sell your house?

  1. Over 90% of buyers make their decision to see a house or not from the online pics.  Staging will insure the focal points/architecture of your home are highlighted and give you that magazine looks that gets more buyers in the door
  2. Staging will sell your house 2-3 times faster and for top dollar.  Buyers believe if a house is professionally staged that there is more pride in ownership and the house is more valuable.
  3. Staging is just as important for occupied homes as it is for vacant/new construction

Do you like these home staging tips and want Karen to come to your home?  Contact Karen to schedule an appointment – she works in MA and NH and the whole process can be done in a week’s time (if necessary).  See below the article written on her Dec 2010 announcing her 1st place finish in the home staging design contest at the Northeast ADE (Association of Design Education) Conference in Hartford, CT.  In the mean time, if you’d like to have a seller’s consultation to see what your home should be listed for for the fastest sale, maximizing your proceeds, contact me today and we can being right away!